Where Did Tchoukball Originate in the World? Tchoukball is the fastest handball game in the world today, which was invented in the late 1960s. The game consists of a team of seven players that unites all the essential sporting skills including athleticism, respect for oneself and the opposing team, concentration and teamwork. Have you ever wondered how this game originated? Or how did it get its strange name? Here is a history of the origin of the sport and how it has spread across the globe over the years.
Dr. Hermann Brandt was a renowned Swiss biologist, and it was through his research into the impact of physical activities that the concept of tchoukball had its foundation. Dr. Brandt observed that various sports resulted in shocking injuries that had stopped even the toughest of athletes from participating further. After addressing these concerns in the book ‘From Physical Education to Sports Through Biology’, Dr. Brandt published his now famous paper ‘A Scientific Criticism of Team Games’. This paper won him the desired Annual World Prize from the FIEP (International Physical Education Federation) and the Thulin Prize, which was presented at the University of Lisbon in August 1970.
In this paper, Dr. Hermann Brandt examined ways in which a perfect team game can be constructed while paying heed to his fundamental concern of reducing injuries. The practical interpretation of his ideas, stemming from his in-depth study of the existing games, is the game we have come to know as tchoukball. The name sounds strange because it comes from the sound of the ball “tchouck”, which it makes when rebounding from a tchoukball frame. Dr. Brandt felt that this name would be universally accepted. He died in the November of 1972, but not before he witnessed some of his high hopes realized.
Most sports in the world can be tracked to humble beginnings and years of slow development before becoming approved and recognized as a national and international sport. Tchoukball is no exception. The game has taken patience and time to prove to people that this wonderful game is surely a ‘sport for all’. All the signs now show that the message is reaching across the world. Through the 1980s, Taiwan took tchoukball to another level. With a substantial investment, the sport became the 3rd popular sport of Taiwan, and the country consistently produced more than 200 teams for its national championships. Furthermore, Great Britain and Switzerland are two founder countries of tchoukball’s global governing body, FITB. This foundation cemented the international presence of tchoukball in Italy and Europe and is now expanding the game at an extremely fast pace.
From the start, the tchoukball game has appealed to an exceptionally broad and diverse spectrum of people, clubs, organizations, educational establishments and public services. In Great Britain, the RAF, the Fire Service, schools and holiday camps have all been exposed to the game at some point. The greatest participation in tchoukball in Great Britain was in the early 1990s when many clubs were formed around the country, playing at a high level under the aegis of the British Tchoukball Association (BTBA). However, unfortunately, due to a lack of coordination and the failure of the World Championships in 1995, many players moved on.
Nevertheless, in August 2000 in Geneva, a world tournament was held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of tchoukball’s birth. Several British players got together and participated. Soon afterward, competitive matches started again in the Great Britain with players from the south and east of the country once again reunited. On January 13th, 2002, Tchoukball UK was established. Just eight months later, Great Britain hosted the world tournament in Loughborough, which was a huge success and brought together teams from four different continents.
The future augurs well with tchoukball UK officials traveling to various parts of the country and describing the game to interested parties. The FITB now has a growing membership that comprises of enthusiastic and hard-working volunteers. These volunteers are achieving wondrous things to promote and spread the game throughout the world. The future for tchoukball is certainly bright, and Dr. Hermann Brandt’s idea of uniting nations through a spectacular and peaceful sport is now closer to reality.
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